Govt. rejects allegations in UNSG’s report to Human Rights Council

Saturday, 3 October 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Government this week emphasised that it rejects all the allegations of human rights violations contained in the Annual Report of the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) on Sri Lanka submitted to the UN Human Rights Council.

Sri Lanka’s Acting Permanent Representative to the Government in Geneva Dayani Mendis made this observation on 30 September at the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with regard to the reference contained in the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on ‘Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights’, presented to the UNHRC.

With regard to alleged ‘intimidating visits’, ‘surveillance’, ‘complaints of harassment’ and ‘reprisals’ referred to in the UNSG’s Report, the Government invited to the parties concerned to make formal complaints to law enforcement authorities or to independent national institutions such as the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka or the National Police Commission, so that action can be taken to investigate the alleged incidents.

The Government has already publicly refuted these allegations, and is committed to protecting and promoting freedom of expression and civil society space, and ensure that complaints received on alleged attacks against journalists, human rights defenders and civil society are investigated and prosecuted, Mendis said delivering the Government’s response.

It is also reiterated that, apart from operating routine security networks in the interest of national security, particularly after the devastating Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, the Security Forces and intelligence agencies are not engaged in monitoring any specific group of people in the country.

“We believe that, any country compromising its national security interests amidst looming sophistication of strategies of radical and extreme elements world around, is bound to face regrettable consequences. Hence, the GoSL requests all parties to be mindful of that ground reality in this context,” Mendis said.